University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Gorton v. Johnson PC-MI-0004
Docket / Court Civ. A. No. 82-60422 ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1982, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiffs were individuals who had been convicted and incarcerated under Michigan's "Guilty but ... read more >
In 1982, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiffs were individuals who had been convicted and incarcerated under Michigan's "Guilty but Mentally Ill" statute, C.L.A. § 768.36, which provides that a criminal defendant who is found guilty but mentally ill and is committed to the custody of the DOC shall undergo further evaluation and be treated for mental illness or mental retardation. Plaintiffs claimed that the DOC lacked the resources to provide any psychiatric treatment to prisoners other than the most extreme disciplinary problems.

On February 16, 1984, the court (Judge Charles Joiner) granted class certification, concluding that the action could proceed as a class action if limited to the issue of whether the Department of Corrections had devised institutional policy and procedures, and if they had not, whether that failure was a constitutional violation of due process and the Eighth Amendment. Gorton v. Johnson, 100 F.R.D. 801 (E.D. Mich. 1984). The issues certified did not include those related to individual evaluation of prisoners, except where necessary to determine policy and procedure. All of our information regarding this case comes from the decision regarding class certification.

Angela Heverling - 04/05/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Michigan Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description individuals who had been convicted and incarcerated under Michigan's "Guilty but Mentally Ill" statute, C.L.A. § 768.36
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion and Order 02/16/1984 (100 F.R.D. 801) (E.D. Mich.)
PC-MI-0004-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Joiner, Charles Wycliffe (E.D. Mich.)
PC-MI-0004-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Wood, Judith (Michigan)
PC-MI-0004-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Humphries, Paula G. (Michigan)
PC-MI-0004-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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